La Virgen de Monserrate

Colonial laws in much of Latin America required practicing Roman Catholic Christianity. Despite the imposition of Christianity during colonization and enslavement in the Americas, many peoples adapted Christian practices and beliefs to their cultures. Figures like this Virgin of Monserrate were displayed in homes. The scene at the bottom refers to the story of a miracle in which she saved a farmer from a bull. She was introduced to Puerto Rico in the late 1500s by colonists from Catalonia, Spain. 

Click to expand image Carved and painted figure of Virgin of Monsterrate seated, holding an orb with a child on her lap. A man and a bull are depicted at her feet.
Virgin of Monserrate (The Miracle of Hormigueros). Puerto Rico, late 1700s or early 1800s. National Museum of American History   

Religion in the 20th Century

This crucifix traveled with Abundio Delgado Sánchez and Concepción Nieves Sánchez and their family when they left Silao Guanajuato, Mexico in 1906. They displayed it in their home in Ventura, California. For many, religion offers hope and strength to overcome the fear and hardship of immigration.



Click to expand image A black, metal crucifix with bronze figure of Christ nailed to it.
Around 1900. Loan from Anna Ríos Bermúdez. 

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